Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Agenda 

Date:   November 8, 2018

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                       1:00pm - 1:05pm        

Krista Gale, Delano Walker and Patrick Sparks                      1:05pm - 1:20pm      

            RED (Racial and Ethnic Disparities) Subcommittee of JDAI                                                                                                                     

Springfield Specialty Court was started to address people in the Criminal Justice (CJ) system with mental illness and addiction issues. RED presented a short film on their program. Core value is to reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the Criminal Justice System. It really is a fellowship of people to end racial tension. System is disproportionate in terms of Black people being the vast majority. What can be done to impact the kids and the system in Mass.

Fairness and results need to work together for a shared vision. Juvenile justice system has a responsibility to the youth. 12-18 years old children charged with crimes/delinquent behavior. Children of color are at a disadvantage in poverty stricken areas and in schools. Discussed the pains and difficulties of a youth who is locked up and detained in regards to the strip-searching and being shackled. They included an activity with chocolate to demonstrate the disparities between black and white youth in detention. Committed to working with police, schools, and courts. Proposing race neutral changes.

Patrick countered with the discussion is not about overt racism but about systemic racism and implicit bias. Looks to prevent ruining children’s’ lives. Knows 17 trades and would like to work with youths in vocational trades.

Agency Overview and Updates                                       1:20pm - 2:20pm

Mariliyn Nunez: MSPCC

Provide individual and group therapy for youth that are impacted by trauma. Worcester and Holyoke. Set up screenings to find the appropriate place for the youth.

Nicole Young: United Way of Pioneer Valley

Provide free tax assistance. Looking for volunteers.

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) relies on dedicated volunteers to provide free tax services to low and moderate income residents of Hampden County each year from mid-January through mid-April. Free training is provided. Sites in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield and Westfield. Contact them at (413) 612-0206

Maria Flores Lopez: Salvation Army

Holiday fundraising Turkey Dinner on November 18th. November 27 and 28 will be their annual toy registration for children up to 12 Holyoke Chicopee and South Hadley and Granby.

Luis Perez: Food Bank

Reaching out to organizations to help people fill out applications for food stamps. They will be at MassHire Holyoke on Thursdays 10am-1pm do not need to be unemployed. Spanish and English

Kathy Anderson: Holyoke Medical Center

Salvation Army pays the people ringing the bells for the kettles. Offers to put out a sign of the agency sponsoring the bell, cost is $150 to sponsor. November 15th flu shots at Saint Paul’s 11:30 to 1pm. November 29th will be their community dinner. Contact Maria for more information. Dinner is at hospital once per month 3:45-4:45. Can bring tickets to agencies if you know they are interested.

Bishop Neil Boyd: NAMI / Kenya Foreign Missions

Bringing 30 kids from Kenya. Concerts in Holyoke. November 24, 2-8pm at MLK, raffles, entertainment, fundraising. For more information and support call Bishop Neal Anthony (413) 222-0255. Donate at https://www.gofundme.com/kenya-foreign-missions. Handed out flyers.

Denise Kelly-Latchet, Hampden County DA Office

High School Basketball sign ups this week, always looking for volunteers.

Miguel Arce: Springfield College

Miguel commented on the efforts of the meeting and the work that everyone is doing to benefit the community.

Israel Rivera: One Holyoke CDC

Flats community building program with UMASS architecture for 8th and 9th graders in art and design. Get kids involved with UMASS students and professors to work on art and design. Raising money for the community dinner. 300-400 residents served at Kelly school. Looking for sponsors and volunteers.  

Rondey Allen: Cross Point

Christian Counseling Agency. Working on a grant funded program cognitive process therapy. Referrals for people struggling with a traumatic incident. About to be certified for reconnection with Red Cross for soldiers returning to get skills in community.

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House

Joanne stated that the Homework House is currently servicing youth in the Flats at Immaculate Conception Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe on Chestnut Street and St. Pauls. The Homework House does Free tutoring and mentoring for grades 1-8 Jan 7th thru 22. In need of tutors. Hobby days are on Fridays and are always looking for volunteers.

Maria Egerstrom: Saint Paul’s

Providing lunch for veterans and their family every Thursday. Most are comprised of Vietnam Vets and looking for younger vets that have served in last 20 years.

Marisol Guevara: Springfield College:

Springrfield College has two new programs beginning in January that are fully online. Many trainings count towards the degree. They have two upcoming open houses: 11/8, 6-8 and 11/10, 1-3.

Nikita Perez: STEM Academy

Gaining information from the meeting. Introduced Corrine Moguel from the STEM Academy.

Jose Bou: Holyoke Public Schools

Equity family and Partnership Coordinator

Glenda Morales: Morgan School

Talked about chronic absenteeism and how to identify youth that are not reading at grade level ten to lose interest in school. She mentioned the school department’s Strive for less than 5 days absent campaign. Shared a story about a youth she tried to follow up with but the kid was in jail. Wants to push for legislation to try harder.

Stefany Garcia: Donahue School

Puerto Rican celebration 11/9. Fight institutionalized racism. Dine out for Donehue for PTO Wednesday, 11/15 at Red Robins

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools

Passed around flyer for strive for less than 5 (absences).

Sgt. Jeff Joniec: Holyoke PD

Shared a story of altercation at Paulo Freire Charter School, explained that the staff had an expectation that the police had to arrest when they arrived. Youth was just ready to be arrested even though that was not what was happening. Expressed the concern that policies have changed which is putting a stress on the officers and the youth and schools. DA will be informing the officers of new policies surrounding disorderly conduct in schools.

Laurie Dimock: Girl Scouts

K-12 programming. Bringing activities to other events and looking for partners

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library

Saturday, December 1st is the end of year concert on Main Street. Tickets available at front desk. Passed out flyers and pamphlet for the Holyoke Public Library. Access to all resources with library card and spoke about website. Learn and Express/ Job search and career accelerator to assist those in finding jobs.  Offers computer skills. Licensing. Learning language for LEO and EMS. Self-development courses free online. Music classes.

Mini golf in the library. Looking for sponsors for the mini golf holes.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library

All spots are full for upcoming course. Tuesday afternoon’s 4:15-6:30 Pokémon and D&D club.

Babysitting on Saturday all 35 spots filled.

Sandy Ward: Holyoke Public Library

Music classes. Mini golf in the library. Looking for sponsors for the mini golf holes. The event will be held on Saturday April 6th, asked folks to mark their calendars.

Jamie Santiago: MSPCC

Taking referrals in home therapy at mspcc.org.

Nestor Rivera: Mass mentoring partnerships

Organizing MMP connects events for those that service youth. Provides networking opportunities for youth programs and strategies. Offer trainings for mentors and mentees based on best practices and work with organizations to assist by funding and unity grants. Next event is in February TBA.

Katalina Melendez: HCC Picknelly Center

They offer Spanish classes, Hiset, scheduling orientations, ESOL classes, community Ed project, and adult learning center in Ludlow. Call Marisol @ 552 4990 to schedule orientation.

Family Fun Night at Morgan on Friday, 11/30/18 5pm to 7pm     2:20pm - 2:25pm

Old Business / New Business

Next Meeting is Thursday, December 13th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Please forward our flyers for the upcoming Basketball Leagues

Tonight: 11/8/18: High School Sign-Ups at the Boys and Girls Club 6pm

Friday: 11/9/18: 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th Grade at the YMCA at 6pm

Tuesday: 11/13/18: 7th & 8th Grade at Lawrence School at 6pm

Close Meeting                                                                             2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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